Attic White-Ground Lekythos

Object Details

Title:

Attic White-Ground Lekythos

Artist/Maker(s):

Douris (Greek (Attic), active 500 - 460 B.C.)

Culture:

Greek (Attic)

Date:

500 - 490 B.C.

Medium:

Terracotta

Dimensions:

33.5 x 12.6 cm (13 3/16 x 4 15/16 in.)

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On this Athenian white-ground lekythos attributed to Douris, two young warriors put on their armor, assisted by a woman and a young boy. The main lines of the bodies and clothing are drawn in black glaze, and the rest of the drawing is rendered with a brownish line made from diluted glaze. The words written between the figures are kalos inscriptions, praising Athenian youths. Large, white-ground lekythoi with outline drawing like this one are unusual in the early 400s B.C., yet three such lekythoi can be attributed to Douris.

In the late 500s B.C., Athenian potters began to paint over the natural reddish color of their pottery with a highly purified clay that turned white when fired. Initially artists applied this technique to a variety of shapes. However, because the white slip was rather fragile, by the mid- 400s B.C. artists limited the use of this technique to leykthoi used in funerary ritual.

Provenance
by 1975

Private Collection (Switzerland)

- 1984

Gianfranco Becchina (Basel, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Exhibitions
Art Antique: Collections Privees de Suisse Romande (1975)
  • Musée d'art et d'histoire de la Ville de Genève, (Geneva), 1975
Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection (March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004
The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases (June 8 to September 4, 2006) (58)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, (Malibu), June 8 to September 4, 2006
Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Léger and Picabia in the Presence of the Antique (November 2, 2011 to May 20, 2012) (6)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, (Malibu), November 2, 2011 to January 16, 2012
  • Musee Picasso, (Antibes), February 16 to May 20, 2012
Bibliography

Dorig, Jose, ed. Art Antique. Collections Privees de Suisse Romande. Exh, cat., Musee d'art et d'histoire, Geneve. Editions archeologiques de l'Universite de Geneve: 1975. cat. no. 205; figs. 205a-e.

Buitron, Diana. Douris. Ph.D. diss., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University: 1976. p. 48, no. 36.

"Acquisitions/1984." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 13 (1985), pp. 168-69, no. 19.

Kurtz, D. C. "Two Athenian White-ground Lekythoi," Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum 4. Occasional Papers in Antiquities 5 (1989). pp. 113-130. figs. 1a-e.

Immerwahr, Henry. Attic Script. A Survey. Oxford and New York: 1990. p. 85 (no cat. number).

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 48.

Buitron-Oliver, Diana. Douris: A Master-Painter of Athenian Red-Figure Vases. Kerameus 9. Mainz: P. von Zabern, 1995. pp. 18, 44, 51-53, 64-65, and 75, cat. no. 45; p. 95, fig. 6E; pls. 28-29.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 47.

Towne Markus, Elana. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Antiquities. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 37.

Immerwahr, Henry. R. A Corpus of Attic Vase Inscriptions. Preliminary Edition. Part VI: Supplement. 2001. no. 4978.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 47.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002) p. 70.

Cohen, Beth, ed. The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006) pp. 213-15, cat. no. 58, figs. 58.1-58.3.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 70.

Green, Christopher, and Jens M. Daehner. Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Leger, and Picabia (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011) 46, 152, no. 6; pl. 8.

Oakley, John H. The Greek Vase: Art of the Storyteller (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2013) pp. 16-17, fig. 8

Cohen, Beth. "Baskets, Nets and Cages: Indicia of Spatial Illusionism in Athenian Vase-painting." In Athenian Potters and Painters III. John. H. Oakley, ed. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2014 p.38, footnote 46.